Are you in the zone?
When starting up a window cleaning business it’s easy to under price your service. If you are building a window cleaning round from scratch, the chances are that you will need work and so will be happy to take on whatever jobs that you can find. After a while, as your business grow, you will likely look at your work again and see that there are some jobs which are under priced, jobs which are irregular and unreliable, jobs which are more trouble than they are worth. For a while you may put up with these jobs. Why? Because you are not yet in the zone.
What do we mean?
Take Fred for example, his schedule is to work 5 mornings per week. He works for 4 hours per morning at an average hourly rate of £15 per hour. So in a typical morning Fred earns £60, or £300 per week, £1200 per month.
Fred has been window cleaning for almost two years now. He’s not the fastest window cleaner around, nor the slowest but he works at a steady pace.
Now some of you that are reading this will be thinking £15 an hour! A good window cleaner should easily be earning more than twice that! Others might be thinking, Fred sounds just like me! So what’s the difference? Prices, speed, location? - Maybe.
However, the problem Fred has is that he doesn’t prioritise his work. His round consists of a lot of irregular or under priced customers. He loses a lot of time going to jobs like 'Mrs. Today', that often says “We’ll skip this time Fred, it looks like its going to rain. Can you come back next week?” Fred obliges and goes back next week only to hear, “We’ll skip this time Fred, I don’t think it’s a good idea to clean the windows when it’s sunny. Can you come back next week?” Fred bites his tongue and once again obliges because he doesn’t yet have a sufficient volume of work to prioritise. He needs to do the work to pay his bills. Fred is not yet 'in the zone'.
If he was in the zone Fred could say to his customers that he cannot call back the following week because he has other work to do and really needs to concentrate on the jobs which he knows are definite. He could say to his customers that he needs to put the price up slightly after two years without worrying about whether they will cancel. If Fred was in the zone he would be in a position to refine his work without suffering a loss of income.
So Fred does more canvassing and improves his marketing and now he is in the zone. When Fred prices up new work he now values his time at £25 -30 per hour instead of £15. If the potential customer accepts the quote, then once established, Fred replaces the new job with the likes of 'Mrs.Today'.
If the going rate in your local area doesn’t allow you to do this, or if you don’t want to be uneven with your pricing in one localised area (and rightly so), then perhaps you could consider targeting a different area altogether with higher prices where they are more acceptable.
When you are in a position to turn down under priced work and irregular time wasters without suffering a drop in income, and when you are able to prioritise, refine and fill your working days with cream, well priced, regular work, then you know that you too are in the zone.